Big4Bio: Building Single Dose, Intranasal Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19 and RSV

In the second of four features on Meissa Vaccines, Big4Bio explores the company’s technology and pipeline.


Company to Watch – Meissa Vaccines


When Marty Moore, Meissa Vaccines’ cofounder and CEO, is asked about why the company is advancing an intranasal recombinant live attenuated vaccine for COVID-19, he talks about the oral polio vaccine.


Many remember Jonas Salk, who developed the inactivated polio vaccine, and Albert Sabin, who developed the oral, live attenuated polio vaccine. Salk got there first with the inactivated, injected vaccine, but Sabin’s live attenuated vaccine defeated polio globally.


“Live attenuated vaccines may take a little longer to develop,” says Moore, “but ultimately are end game vaccines because they are effective, generally low cost, and easy to administer globally, if they are given in a single dose without a needle, like Sabin’s vaccine. Most importantly, when fighting a respiratory virus like SARS-CoV-2 or RSV, they can be delivered intranasally to block infection and transmission.”


Making vaccines from a live virus is a balancing act between safety and immunogenicity that, if successful, can promote broad immunity that mimics natural immunity against the infecting agent. However, this balancing act is not always easily obtained.


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